Christ is Risen!
Welcome to your online worship for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 30, 2023.
I am excited to be back and worshiping with you all. I had two weeks off for a vacation with my spouse and I return rested and relaxed.
I am so grateful for the liturgical leadership of The Rev’d Canon Dr. Darcey Lazerte, The Rev’d Canon Bob Schroeder, and the Rev’d Margaret Shortell who all helped lead worship during my absence.
Today’s Opening Sentence
“I am the good shepherd, says the Lord: I know my own and my own know me.” – John 10.14
Today’s Reading – John 10:1-10
“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”1
Your Online Message and Prayers
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Reflection questions for the week:
- We all have experienced people who acted like a “gate” or “gatekeeper” in our lives, sometime in a positive, way but too often in a negative way. Reflect on how that works in our relationships with others, in positive and negative ways.
- When Jesus describes the role of the gate and the gatekeeper in our reading today, he obviously sees this role as being a protective role. Have you been in a gatekeeper role in a protective way?
- Jesus points to “thieves and bandits” in reference to the religious leaders of his day that were acting in ways that were misleading and selfish. It must have been difficult for some hearers to draw the same conclusion. Discerning our human leaders can be a challenging process. When in your life have to had to reexamine your opinion of someone in a leadership role?
- I still wrestle with the idea of considering myself a “sheep.” In our society it is equated with mindlessness or being brainless. In the gospel though, I get more of the sense the sheep as vulnerable and deeply valued. What do you think, or how do you feel about the image of being a sheep in Jesus’ flock?
This week music is provided by Ryan Van Dijk, our Music Director, and the choir. Thank you to them all for their ministry of music!
A continued reminder that if you are at all uncomfortable being in-person for worship, or if you are not feeling well, please join us here online.
Thank you again for joining with your parish family in our online worship today.
Find out how you can support our ministry and good work in the community here.
God Bless you and have a blessed week. Be well!
The Rev’d Canon Rob Park
- Scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.